Read: "Let us persevere!" | Bishop Earl Boyea's tribute to Barb Listing

Bishop Earl Boyea had the happy duty of paying tribute to Barb Listing, pictured above, who recently stood down after 43 years as President of Right to Life Michigan, during the pro-life group’s 45th Annual Legislative Day held in Lansing, May 1, 2024.

“Our society has closed hearts and minds to the nobler instincts of our nature to which Barb always appealed,” said Bishop Boyea to those gathered from across the state of Michigan.

“Yet, Barb has given another example, one which probably means very little to that society, but which means a great deal to us and that is that we never give up; that human dignity deserves our life-long recognition and support; that the reality that that child in the womb has human dignity and that that person with handicaps who is slated for euthanasia has human dignity both have a claim on the truth to which we adhere.”

“So, let us persevere! That is the greatest tribute we can make to Barb Listing.”

Barbara Listing joined Right to Life of Michigan back in 1973. A native of Shepherd, Michigan, she wanted to get involved in the pro-life movement shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court released its Roe v. Wade decision that year.

Michigan voters had just rejected a ballot measure that would liberalize the state’s abortion laws in 1972, so Barb and her colleagues felt it wouldn’t take much convincing for people to acknowledge the horrors of abortion.

“In the early days, many of us thought, ‘Well, will give of our time and our resources for a short period of time,’ because once we really are able to show our fellow citizens the humanity of that unborn child, we’ll be able to go back to our regular lives,” said Barb to Detroit Catholic.

That “short time” for Listing turned into 51 years with Right to Life of Michigan — 43 as president — leading legislative fights, endorsing pro-life political candidates, speaking for the unborn and the chronically ill and being a stalwart defender of life.

This year’s Annual Legislative Day in Lansing boasted a sold-out audience of more than 320 attendees. Presiding over the occasion was Barb Listing’s successor as President of Right to Life Michigan, Amber Roseboom, who was previously Vice President of Operations for the organization. Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, pray for them!

• Addition reporting courtesy of Detroit Catholic: